Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) didn’t waste any time issuing subpoenas after the Committee authorized their use last week in 13-3 vote in relation to the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. Leahy issued subpoenas to the Department of Justice, the White House, the Office of the Vice President, and the National Security Council for documents relating to the warrantless electronic surveillance program. The Committee is looking for documents relating to the authorization and reauthorization of the program as well as legal analysis or opinions about the surveillance, as well as any agreements between the executive branch and phone companies or other companies regarding liability for assisting in surveillance.
“Over the past 18 months, this Committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorization of and legal justification for this program,” Chairman Leahy wrote in letters accompanying the subpoenas to Bush Administration officials. “All requests have been rebuffed. Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of Administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection.”
The deadline for getting back to the Committee is July 18.